It’s finally happening.
As IndieWire reports, Martin Scorsese’s long-gestating The Irishman, which was acquired by Netflix earlier this year, will begin production in August.
Slated for a 2019 release, the film will undoubtedly be one of the most anticipated films of that year given—well, so many reasons, the first being that it will be the ninth collaboration between Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese, a director-actor pair that has been responsible for some of American cinema’s most celebrated works, from Mean Streets and Taxi Driver to Raging Bull and Goodfellas. Then there is the fact that The Irishman will be a gangster picture, territory in which Scorsese and DeNiro—both together and separately—have been notable pioneers, with the former capturing gangland milieus with an anthropological eye and sweeping camerawork, and the latter bringing new levels of macho hubris to petty thugs and mob bosses alike.
On top of all this, The Irishman will be featuring Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, bringing to mind two history-making moments in which Pacino and DeNiro co-starred in a film: The Godfather: Part II and Heat. Additionally, Joe Pesci may also be returning to the genre that put him on the map, though the retired actor has reportedly turned down a role in the film—if Pesci relents (and we can only hope he will), he will be joined by crime cinema heavyweight Harvey Keitel and scribe Steve Zaillian, whose writing credits on titles like Moneyball and HBO’s The Night Of make him one of the most sought-after writers working today.
And if all this isn’t exciting enough for you, the film will be lensed by Rodrigo Prieto, the cinematographer behind 25th Hour, Brokeback Mountain, and Scorsese’s own The Wolf of Wall Street and Silence.
Put another way, The Irishman will be one of the movie events of the decade. Following through from under the weight of so much hype is a staggering task, but if anyone were up for the challenge, it would be Scorsese.